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Embry Family - Indiana/Kentucky

Embry Family - Indiana/Kentucky

Posted: 966854011000
Edited: 994876898000

My name is Elvera Embry Bryant. For the most part, my branch of the Embry family seems to be localized in the Indiana/Kentucky area. We are of African descent.

My father is James William Embry, and my mother is Wilma Turley Embry, both of Richmond, Indiana.

My fraternal grandparents were Erma Burrell Embry and William Shelby Embry. My maternal grandparents were Marie Turley and Rev. Elza M. Turley.

From the perspective of physical attributes, we run the entire gambit, which would lead one to believe that slavery was probably the likely avenue for such a diverse set of physical characteristics.

We have tons of photos, and I have just set up a web site via I would be happy to talk about my branch of the Embry family to determine what other connections are out there.

God bless,


possible connection

Natalie Embry-Carl (View posts)
Posted: 967890421000
I'm not sure if we are from the same heritage or not but my Gret-Great-Grandfather, was Billy Bates, he owned a whole county in KY, he had several slaves, his daughter inherited the county when when she was married her name was Sally Ann Bates. She married my Great-Grandfather Wesley Embry, from what I understand they owned the land when the slaves were freed. My father has told me that some of the slaves took the "Embry" name. He also said that Wesley gave some of the land to the slaves so that they would have somewhere to live.
As I said I'm not sure if they are the same Embry line as yours but it would be great to see the photos you have.

Embry's in Kentucky

Posted: 968229261000
Edited: 994876898000
Thanks to Natalie Embry-Carl for the message!

I have now had two separate references to the "Embry" name as the name of a slave owner. Apparently, the Embry name was taken by the slaves, since they were forbidden to use and/or speak their own African names. I look forward to pursuing this.

My Grandfather, William Shelby Embry, came out of the Richmond, Kentucky area. It would seem highly unlikely that such an unsual family name could have been focused in a very close geographic area, and not be connected somehow.

I'm just returning from vacation, but plan to post several old photos. I'll try to get this done within the next two weeks!

In the meantime, let's keep the conversation going!!

Embry's in KY

Natalie (View posts)
Posted: 968264392000
I showed my Dad the message from Stan, and he seems to think that the Embry he is talking about is my Great-Grandfather's brother, unfortunately, we (Dad, aunts uncles) do not know much about Wesleys' siblings.
I have only recently gotten into finding out more about our family history. I have always been told stories about everyone, but never pursued it any further till now.
My e-mail is, if you would like to e-mail me at any time. I have some photos of my G-G Grandfather, and I'd love to see the photos that you have, maybe there is a connection somewhere.

Re: Embry's in Kentucky

Faye Thole (View posts)
Posted: 969612020000
My Embry ancestors came from England Jno Embry in @1600,descendant William Embry b @1675 Va. moved to Butler Co. Ky William Jr M Rachel Davis They were parents of Wm (Gransire)Embry. he died 1840 Butler Co Ky.Gransire Embry's son Burrell M Elizabeth (Betsy) Rhay in Ky 1790.Burrell died in Mercer Co Ky 1840 Three of Burrell and Betsy's sons left Ky and moved to Mo.Elijah, George and Isaac. Elijah M Mary Gooch. these are my ancestors as known. If any more info. out there would sure appreciate receiving it.

Thank You!!!

Natalie Embry Carl (View posts)
Posted: 971380834000
Thank you so much you have helped me to take my family tree back so much further.
Elijah was my G G Grandfather, his son Wesley is my G Grandfather (don't know much on any G uncles or aunts) but wesley had several children: Cosby, Henry Clark, Zettie, Nathan (my Grandfather), Eva these were to his first wife Sally Bates. Then when Sally died in childbirth he married Alice Burden and their children were Theodore Rosevelt (my step-grandfather), Cortis, Greeley, Liz and Charlie who died as a child.
My Grandmother Dona Duke married Paps' 1/2 brother "Velt" after Nathans' death.
Nathan Dona had 7 children: Vivian, Chalmers, Courtney, Beatrice, Nathan Jr. (my dad), Leon Elbirda.
I'd love to hear from you my e-mail is
Thank You So Much!!!!!!


Richard Embry,Jr (View posts)
Posted: 981633392000
Hi, I am inquirying about some history on that Embry name. My father and I have researched as far back as 1867. I, a Afro-American,am in search of some facts. If you can return a phone number or something so that we may talk it would be grately appreciated.

Embry's in Kentucky

Glenn (View posts)
Posted: 981825458000
I had noticed your E-Mail several months ago and have been intending to reply – just have not gotten around to it until now. My grandmother was an Embry from the Butler and Grayson County area of Western Kentucky. My great-great grandfather was Wesley Embry (the same Wesley as referenced in the reply to you by Natalie Embry Carl).

However, my primary interest in replying to you has more to do with another line of my family. My father’s maternal grandparents were Burrell Monroe Downey (born prior to 1860 in Grayson County, Kentucky) and Delilah Jane Payton. Information from my Grandmother has Monroe’s parents listed as Thomas Downey and Effie (last name of Effie unknown). I have never been able to find out much information on this line – except for some old family stories that Monroe was part Indian.

In doing some looking around on the LDS Web Site, I found a listing for a Thomas Downey born in 1818 in Mercer County, Kentucky and having married an Africa “Effie” Embry in 1840. Effie is also listed as first married to an Alexander McMullin on Jan. 23, 1832 in Garrard County, Kentucky. Effie’s parents are listed as Burrell Embry and Elizabeth Ray (or Rhay). I do not know if this is the same Thomas and Effie that would be my great-great grandparents – but the probability seems likely. Burrell’s father is indicated to be William Grancer Embry. Coincidentally, I believe that this William is the also the grandfather of Wesley. As a further coincidence with your line, I have Wesley’s parents listed as Elijah Embry and Elizabeth Bryant.

I noticed that for Black History month, was providing free access to their “Slave Narratives.” I did a search of the name Embry on this site and found the following information:

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
Uncle Dan tells me "he was born May 5, 1858 at the Abe Wheeler place near Spoonsville, now known as Nina, about nine miles due east from Lancaster. Mother, whose name was Lucinda Wheeler, belonged to the Wheeler family. My father was a slave of Dan Bogie's, at Kirksville, in Madison County, and I was named for him. My mother's people were born in Garrard County as far as I know. I had one sister, born in 1880, who is now dead, and is buried not far from Lancaster. Marse Bogie owned about 200 acres of land in the eastern section of the county, and as far as I can remember there were only four slaves on the place. We lived in a one-room cabin, with a loft above, and this cabin was an old fashioned one about hundred yards from the house. We lived in one room, with one bed in the cabin. The one bed was an old fashioned, high post corded bed where my father and mother slept. My sister and me slept in a trundle bed, made like the big bed except the posts were made smaller and was on rollers, so it could be rolled under the big bed. There was also a cradle, made of a wooden box, with rockers nailed on, and my mother told me that she rocked me in that cradle when I was a baby. She used to sit and sing in the evening. She carded the wool and spun yarn on the old spinning wheel. My grandfather was a slave of Talton Embry, whose farm joined the Wheeler farm. He made shingles with a steel drawing knife, that had a wooden handle. He made these shingles in Mr. Embry's yard. I do not remember my grandmother, and I didn't have to work in slave days, because my mother and father did all the work except the heavy farm work. My Mistus used to give me my winter clothes. My shoes were called brogans. My old master had shoes made. He would put my foot on the floor and mark around it for the measure of my shoes.

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
Most of the cooking was in an oven in the yard, over the bed of coals. Baked possum and ground hog in the oven, stewed rabbits, fried fish and fired bacon called "streaked meat" all kinds of vegetables, boiled cabbage, pone corn bread, and sorghum molasses. Old folks would drink coffee, but chillun would drink milk, especially butter milk.

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
Old master would call us about 4 o'clock, and everybody had to get up and go to "Stirring". Old Marse had about 30 or 40 sugar trees which were tapped in Fegruary. Elder spiles were stuck in the taps for the water to drop out in the wooden troughs, under the spiles. These troughs were hewed out of buckeye. This maple water was gathered up and out in a big kettle, hung on racks, with a big fire under it It was then taken to the house and finished upon the stove. The skimmings after it got to the syrup stage was builed down and made into maple sugar for the children.

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
We wore tow linen clothes in summer and jeans in winter. Sister wore linsey in winter of different colors, dyed from herbs, especially poke berries; and wore unbleached cotton in summer, dyed with yellow mustard seed.

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
My grandfather, Jim Embry mended shoes and made farrly good ones.

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
There were four claves. My mother did cooking and the men did the work. Rob Wheeler and Arch Bogie were our masters. Both were good and kind to us. I never saw a slave shipped, for my boss did not believe in that kind of punishment. My master had four boys, named Rube, Felton, Horace, and Billie, Rube and me played together and when we acted bad old Marse always licked Rube three or Four times harder then he did me because Rube was older. Their daughter was named American Wheeler, for her mother.

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
White folks did not teach us to read and write. I learned that after I left my white folks. There was no church for slaves, but we went to the white folks church at Mr. Freedom. We sat in the gallery. The first colored preacher I ever heard was old man Leroy Estill. He preached in the Freedom Meeting house (Baptist). I stood on the banks of Paint lick Creek and saw my mother baptized, but do not remember the preachers name or any of the songs they sung.

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
We did not work on Saturday afternoon. The men would go fishing, and the women would go to the neighbors and help each other piece quilts. We used to have big times at the corn shuckings. The neighbors would come and help. We would have camp fires and sing songs, and usually a big dance at the barn when the corn was shucked. Some of the slaves from other plantations would pick the banjo, then the dance. Miss Americe married Sam Ward. I was too young to remember only that they had good things to eat.

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
I can remember when my mothers brother died. He was buried at the Wheeler, but I do not recall any of the songs, and they did not have a preacher. My mother took his death so hard.

State: Kentucky Interviewee: Bogie, Dan
Where was an old ash hopper, made of slats, put together at the bottom and wide at the top. The ashes were dumped in this and water poured over them. A drip was made and lye caught in wooden troughs. This was then boiled down and made into soap. My mother let me help stir it many a time. When the big kettle would be lifted from the fire and left until cold. My mother would then block it off, and put on a wooden plank to dry out until ready for use.

************************** End of info from

Upon looking back at the information on the LDS Web Site – I noticed that Effie had a brother Talton Embry born in 1804 in Garrard County, Kentucky. Perhaps this is the same Talton as indicated above in the Slave Narrative.

So – what I have is some interesting circumstantial information that would perhaps indicate some connection to your family of the Indiana/Kentucky area. It is interesting that the information I found had Thomas Downey marrying Africa “Effie” Embry – daughter of Burrell (I noticed that you also had the name Burrell in your family line). I do not know how common it would have been for a “white family” to have named one of their kid’s Africa??? (I don’t believe I have ever noticed that name before.) It’s also interesting that old family stories indicated that Monroe was part Indian. Perhaps at that time if Monroe was of dark complexion, it would have been more acceptable around other whites to have indicated that you were part Indian??????

Anyway – as I indicated - all I have is a little circumstantial information and a few possible connections and assumptions. If you have any other information that might indicate what this connection (if any) might be – I would certainly appreciate you sharing it.

Re: Embry's in Kentucky

Posted: 994874722000
Surnames: Embry, Booton, Foster, Campbell, Estill

I know this is an old posting, but I hope you'll see this. I descend from the Embrys of Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky and I have recently been trying to help a descendant of a slave of an ancestor of mine. I descend from Joel (Joseph) Embry. Joel had 10 children. I descend from his son, Joel. He also had a son, Talton Embry. I have recorded many names of slaves of these two men, in the hopes that I might be able to help someone find their family. Talton Embry had 35 slaves. I have 16 of the names. Joel Embry (the son)had 12 slaves listed in his will.

There is a very interesting story about one of Talton's slaves. Her name was Jane R. Embry, and she was biracial. She married a caucasian man, and so I believe most of her offspring passed as caucasian back then. Many slaves did take the names of the landowners, but many also were children of the landowners. Our theory is that Jane may have actually been a daughter of Talton.

Please e-mail me if you are interested in any of those names of the slaves. I would love to help you make a connection.

Katherine Embry Marek

Re: Embry's in Kentucky

Natalie Embry Carl (View posts)
Posted: 995333020000
Katherine, I would love to have the names of the slaves, at a family reunion over the weekend, we found that we have a few relatives that were fathered by slaves and I was hoping that the information you have could help us to go back even further in our ancestor search. Please either post the names here or you can e-mail them to me at Maybe there is a connection here. Thank you, Natalie Embry Carl
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